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called " a most unluckee conthratong." He had an order for Vauxhall, admitting two, from Mr. Hodgen, then within the Gardens, and singing (as he did at the Back Kitchen and the nobility's concerts) the "Body Snatcher," the "Death of General Wolfe," the "Banner of Blood," and other favourite melodies; and, having this order for the admission of two persons, he thought that it would admit three, and had come accordingly to the Gardens with his friends. But, on his way, Captain Costigan had lost the paper of admission—it was not forthcoming at all; and the leedies must go back again, to the great disappointment of one of them, as Pendennis saw.
Arthur had a great deal of good nature for everybody, and how could he refuse his sympathy in such a case as this? He had seen the innocent face as it looked up to the Captain, the appealing look of the girl, the piteous quiver of the mouth, and the final outburst of tears. If it had been his last guinea in the world, he must have paid it to have given the poor little thing pleasure. She turned the sad imploring eyes away directly they lighted upon a stranger, and began to wipe them with her handkerchief. Arthur looked very handsome and kind as he stood before the women, with his hat off, blushing, bowing, generous, a gentleman. "Who are they?" he asked of himself. He thought he had seen the elder lady before.
"If I can be of any service to you, Captain Costigan," the young man said, "I hope you will command me. Is there any difficulty about taking these ladies into the garden? Will you kindly make use of my purse? And—and I have a ticket myself which will admit two—I hope, ma'am, you will permit me?"
The first impulse of the Prince of Fairoaks was to pay for the whole party, and to make away with his newspaper order as poor Costigan had done with his own ticket. But his instinct, and the appearance of the two women, told him that they would be better pleased if he did not give himself the airs of a grand seigneur, and he handed his purse to Costigan, and laughingly pulled out his ticket with one hand, as he offered the other to the elder of the ladies—ladies was not the word—they had bonnets and shawls, and collars and ribbons, and the youngest showed a pretty little foot and boot under her modest grey gown, but his Highness of Fairoaks was courteous to every person who wore a petticoat, whatever its texture was, and the humbler the wearer only the more stately and polite in his demeanour.
"Fanny, take the gentleman's arm," the elder said; "since you will be so very kind—I've seen you often come in at our gate, sir, and go in to Captain Strong's at No. 3."
Fanny made a little curtsey, and put her hand under Arthur's arm. It had on a shabby little glove, but it was pretty and small. She was not a child, but she was scarcely a woman as yet; her tears had dried up, her cheek mantled with youthful blushes, and her eyes glistened with pleasure and gratitude, as she looked up into Arthur's kind face.
Arthur, in a protecting way, put his other hand upon the little one resting on his arm. "Fanny's a very pretty little name," he said; "and so you know me, do you?"
"We keep the lodge, sir, at Shepherd's Inn," Fanny said with a curtsey; "and I've never been at Vauxhall, sir, and pa didn't like me to go—and—and—O—O—law, how beautiful!" She shrank back as she spoke, starting with wonder and delight as she saw the Eoyal Gardens blaze before her with a hundred million of lamps, with a splendour such as the finest fairy tale, the finest pantomime she had ever witnessed at the theatre, had never realised. Pen was pleased with her pleasure, and pressed to his side the little hand which clung so kindly to him. "What would I not give for a little of this pleasure?" said the blase young man.
"Your purse, Pendennis, me dear boy," said the Captain's voice behind him. "Will ye count it? it's all roight—no— ye thrust in old Jack Costigan (he thrusts me, ye see, madam). Ye've been me preserver, Pen (I've known 'um since choildhood, Mrs. Bolton; he's the proproietor of Fairoaks Castle, and many's the cooper of clar't I've dthrunk there with the first nobilitee of his neetive countee)—Mr. Pendennis, ye've been me preserver, and oi thank ye; me daughther will thank ye.—Mr. Simpson, your humble servant, sir."
If Pen was magnificent in his courtesy to the ladies, what